Monday, March 27, 2017

John Oliver: Top posts for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

At the end of WXYZ on Marche du Nain Rouge 2017, I teased my readers by telling them to "Stay tuned for an entertainment-themed retrospective featuring the top entry of last year."  The hint was the backside of John Oliver blowing up 2016.  Sure enough, the top two posts of last year both featured John Oliver.

The most read entry of the two was Last Week Tonight examines Clinton and Trump foundations after winning three Emmy Awards from September 27, 2016.  It earned 7947 page views according to the default counter, 8226 according to the raw counter, by the end of March 20, 2017.  Not only was it the top post of last year, it's currently the top post of all time on the blog.  Here's the story from the notes for October 2016, when it was the top post for the month as well as the winner of the Revenge of the Back Catalog Trophy.*

The entry earned 2672 page views in the first two hours after being shared at the Coffee Party USA Facebook page, 1942 in the first hour.  It helped attract nearly 1995 page views to the blog the first hour and 792 the second.  In the first two hours, it rocketed up to 6th place, knocking Clinton wins the news media while Sanders wins the Internet out of the all-time top ten and passing PBS Newshour examines gerrymandering in Maryland and North Carolina, which had only occupied sixth place for a few hours.  Overnight, it powered up the rankings until it was in third by 9 AM the next day.  It ended up in first place after 24 hours with 7406 views during the first 24 hours.  It also helped contribute to the best single day in the blog's history with 7930 page views.  It ended October with 7947 page views after reaching a maximum of 7997, 8176 according to the raw counter, at 7:59 PM on October 26, 2016.  The tendency of the default counter to shrink page views over time strikes again!

The second most read entry of the year and third of all time also featured John Oliver, John Oliver on feelings over facts and Colbert on Trumpiness.  It ended the blogging year with 5059 page views, 6206 according to the raw counter.  I'll be a good environmentalist and recycle the relevant paragraph from Best August so far and other monthly meta to explain how it got its page views.
"John Oliver on feelings over facts and Colbert on Trumpiness" from July 25, 2016 won both the top post and Revenge of the Back Catalog trophies with 6061 entries during the month.  The entry also rose to second on the all-time top ten list with 6099 page views, 6139 according to the raw counter, by the end of July.  As I documented in Popular entries from the back catalog for the fifth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, it knocked Eye spy the gas price rollercoaster about to coast down like a parachute out of the all-time top ten.  Like the previous two entries, it earned its page view[s] by being shared at the Coffee Party Facebook page, where it earned more than 5700 page views in 24 hours.  Before being shared, it had 117 page views.  Sharing it helped draw 5861 page views to the blog the day it was posted, 1325 in the first hour.
The list of retrospectives about top posts at the end of this entry shows that I've never featured two most read entries for the year in the same post and only once have I included posts on the same theme as the top post, and that was the "other" top post for the year.  Congratulations to John Oliver for achieving a first on this blog!

I'm not done with the subject.  Follow over the jump for more posts built around John Oliver that made last year's Top 40.**

Sunday, March 26, 2017

WXYZ on Marche du Nain Rouge 2017

Today is the Marche du Nain Rouge.  WXYZ tells the story about the Nain Rouge and the march to pacify/expel him in this video.

This year, there will be more than one Nain Rouge at the parade.  In addition to the frightening character in the racing overalls who presided over last year's ceremonies, a more dapper one will be helping to promote a book.  WXYZ also has that story in Local author explores the coolest places in Detroit through the eyes of the Nain Rouge.

I wonder if the parade and banishing ceremony might have a (staged) fight over who is the real Nain Rouge.  Wouldn't that be entertaining?

WXYZ had more on the book, its author, and the Nain Rogue three months ago in New book highlights Detroit's hidden gems.

A new book on Detroit is unveiling the city's hidden gems from the perspective of the Nain Rouge.
That's it for today's entertainment entry.  Stay tuned for an entertainment-themed retrospective featuring the top entry of last year.  Here's a hint about tomorrow's subject.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ten years of Earth Hour for 2017

Today is Earth Hour, which is celebrating its tenth birthday.  Follow along with Earth Hour 2017: Ten Years of Impact to see a decade of working to protect the planet.

WWF's Earth Hour shows us how each of us can be heroes for our planet, our home. Our actions today can change our tomorrow - together, let's #ChangeClimateChange.
I've been celebrating the event since 2011, making this my seventh Earth Hour.  It also makes this the very first special day of any kind that I observed on the blog, second only to April Fools Day.  Wow!

In addition to turning off lights and other electronic devices between 8:30 P.M. and 9:30 P.M. local time, Earth Hour 2017: Protect Our Planet with Pocoyo has other suggestions to help the planet.

Pocoyo and his friends, Elly the elephant and Pato the duck, are determined to protect our planet and make our home a better place!
Yes, this video is intended for children, but adults can save water, drive less, conserve energy, and recycle, too.  These are lessons for all of us.  With that, I wish my readers a Happy Earth Hour!

Friday, March 24, 2017

Bill Nye and I get our wish from Trump on Mars, sort of

In last November's Trump pulls a Gingrich on space, I found a silver lining in the dark storm cloud of a Trump presidency, writing "space policy is the one area where Trump might actually be good for the country."  I also wrote of his campaign plank on space that "Trump's plan is actually not a bad idea."  I was not alone in my hopes.  Last week, The Planetary Society uploaded Bill Nye's Open Letter to President Donald Trump to its YouTube channel to urge him to do what the organization thought was necessary to achieve the goals of the plan and then some.

Bill Nye, CEO of The Planetary Society, and our Board of Directors present five recommendations to the Trump administration as it contemplates the future of the U.S. space program.
This week, Newsy reported Trump signs bill to let NASA explore Mars.

President Donald Trump authorized $19.5 billion in funding for NASA for fiscal year 2017.
That was an increase from the $19.1 billion for NASA in the proposed budget Trump submitted last week, so that was an improvement, if not the 5% increase Nye was asking for.  As for me, I'm treating this the same way I did the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee finally being placed on the Endangered Species List, as a rare bit of good news coming out of this otherwise deplorable administration.

That written, I still stand by my conclusion from that entry in November.
Sorry, I want more ambitious goals for both space exploration and climate monitoring along with people who understand science and technology in charge of both.  This combination isn't good enough for me.  It's like hoping for the alternative history in "The Man in the High Castle" to happen just so there could be commercial SSTs by the early 1960s...The cost would be too high.
Funding for NASA research into climate change was still cut in the new bill.  That's not all.  Here's the cost, as depicted by Science Magazine, in terms of cuts to all kinds of federally funded research.

The cost is indeed too high.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Statistics for the sixth year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News

I promised a statistics entry and teased it yesterday, so it's time to deliver.

As of 11:59 P.M. E.D.T. on March 20, 2016, I had posted 2724 total entries, the blog had earned 595,621 page views, and the readers and I together posted 1307 comments over the blog's first five years.  As of that same time on March 20, 2017, those totals had reached 3101 entries, 948,385 page views, and 1903 comments during the first six years of the blog.  Consequently, the sixth year of the blog saw me post 377 entries, which earned 352,764 page views and 596 comments from my readers and me.  For comparison, the fifth year of the blog recorded 435 entries, which earned 176,458 page views and 443 comments.*

Follow over the jump for my analysis of these numbers.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Rusty-Patched Bumblebee finally placed on the Endangered Species List

I know I promised a statistics entry, but first I'm sharing this breaking news about the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee being placed on the Endangered Species List.  Wochit News reports Rusty Patched Bumblebee Officially Declared Endangered.

This week, the rusty patched bumblebee officially became the first bumblebee in the U.S. to make the endangered species list. According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the bee is one of the pollinators experiencing serious population declines across the United States. The species was initially set to get protected status last month, but the listing was delayed after Donald Trump ordered a temporary freeze on new regulations following his win in the presidential election. Since the 1990s, the population of the rusty patched bumblebee has fallen over 87 percent, leaving tiny numbers in just 13 states.
That's probably the first good environmental news out of this administration.  I don't expect a lot more, based on what Trump said in Willow Run on the Ides of March.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy Persian New Year and Happy Birthday to Twitter and this blog

Nowruz Mubarak!  Happy Persian New Year to my readers, a happy 11th birthday to Twitter, and a happy sixth birthday to this blog!

I traditionally celebrate Nowruz by explaining the holiday and showing the White House's celebration.  The first one is easy: What is Nowruz How to celebrate Persian New Year.

What is Nowruz? How to celebrate Persian New Year
For nearly 190 million people around the world, Monday is one of the most important days of their calendar.
Nowruz - which means New Day in Farsi - marks the start of Spring.
Its origins are ancient - believed to have been started by Zoroastrians around 3000 years ago - but now it is an important part of modern lives.
But what exactly is Nowruz? BBC Persian's Sahar Zand visited Little Persia in London to explain how her family celebrate the Persian New Year.
Produced by Joe Inwood. BBC
The second one I am likely to discontinue after this year, as the current occupant of the White House is not a fan of multiculturalism and dislikes Iran.  However, I can benefit from conserving my resources last year by showing Nowruz at the White House with Silk Road Dance Company.

Historic White House Celebration of Nowruz with introduction by First Lady Michelle Obama and performances by Silk Road Dance Company of Washington DC, under the direction of Dr. Laurel Victoria Gray.  Founded in 1995, the ensemble has a repertoire of over 200 dances from Central Asia, the Caucasus, and the Middle East.
I'm going to miss celebrations of Nowruz at The White House.

Follow over the jump for two news reports about what passes for Twitter's birthday.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Seeker/DNews on Spring for the Vernal Equinox

Happy arrival of astronomical Spring!  USA informs its readers of the exact time of the Vernal Equinox in First day of spring officially arrives early Monday.
It's the day warm weather fans have been waiting months for: Monday is the first day of spring!

Spring officially arrives at 6:28 a.m. EDT (3:28 a.m. PDT) Monday, when the sun will be directly over the equator, marking the spring (aka vernal) equinox here in the Northern Hemisphere. For the folks down under in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the first day of autumn.
To celebrate, I'm sharing three videos from DNews, which now calls itself Seeker, about Spring in general and the Vernal Equinox in particular, beginning with What Is Spring?

It's the first day of spring, which means longer days, warmer weather, and the advent of flowers blooming. In this DNews video, Trace has the lowdown on what signals the changing of the seasons, plus the nifty way flowers know this intuitively!
That video was from 2013.  Follow over the jump for two more, one each from 2014 and 2015.*

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Kellyanne Conway is not Inspector Gadget. She's Maxwell Smart asking "Would you believe?"

Trump's wiretapping claims and vulnerability to conspiracy theories is still playing out more than a week later.  This time, it was the claim that household appliances, including microwaves, were being used to spy on the Trump campaign.  The best moment came when Kellyanne Conway said that she "was not Inspector Gadget."  That prompted a lot of ridicule by the late night television comics.  Watch the Stephen Colbert segment beginning at 0:39 for Conway making her cartoonish remark.

VIDEO: A roundup compilation of late night talk show hosts rip into Kellyanne Conway microwave remarks...

Conway was lambasted after she was asked about President Donald Trump's unsubstantiated claims that his namesake tower in New York City was wiretapped by Barack Obama.

She told the Bergen County Record this weekend: 'What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other. You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets.'

She also mentioned 'microwaves that turn into cameras', but later backtracked her comments, joking that she wasn't 'Inspector Gadget'.
Jake Tapper at CNN joined in the mockery by poking fun at Kellyanne Conway's remark to open his show.

CNN’s Jake Tapper led The Lead on Monday with a swipe at Kellyanne Conway‘s “I’m not Inspector Gadget” line earlier in the day on New Day.
I guess Conway knows about Inspector Gadget from watching the show with her children, which means she's watching the reboot.  Here is the original opening for her edification, along with the complete theme that the Late Show band was riffing on.

As for her not being Inspector Gadget, I agree.  She's much more like another character brought to life by Don Adams, Maxwell Smart.  Both Conway and Smart like to play a game of "Would you believe?"

Conway (as Smart): "Would you believe Obama had Trump Tower wiretapped?"
KAOS Agent: "No, I would have a hard time believing that."
Conway: "Would you believe he had the British spying on Trump."
KAOS Agent: "No."
Conway: "Would you believe he put a camera in Trump's microwave?"
KOAS Agent: "Now you're being silly."
Agent 99: "Oh, Max, you know that never works."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Follow-up to last week's wind storm

I expressed my puzzlement in Service interruption from worst storm in DTE history when I wrote "The cause of the high winds baffles me, but the rain and warm winter I can blame on climate change."  That prompted Kevin Roberts to ask in the comments "We've been having some crazy wind here in Northern NY for a week or so. I can't blame that on climate change?"  My response expanded on why I was confused.
Well, you can. I have trouble with doing so because the expected effects of climate change I recall don't include strong winds out of a clear blue sky. Strong winds from more intense rain storms, yes. What we had, no. Those threw me, as they behaved like the Santa Ana winds I thought I left behind when I moved out of southern California.
I got a bit of an answer in WOOD-TV's What causes high winds?

Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Ellen Bacca explains...

Most of that was pretty elementary for me, but the item I found helpful was Bacca showing the low pressure area and snow storm way to the north, which also shows up in the map I used to illustrate this entry.  That it had central low pressure as low as a hurricane's was consistent with the kind of severe weather I expect from climate change, so it helped me make sense of what happened last Wednesday.

Speaking of which, downed power lines, blackouts, fallen trees, and torn-off roofs weren't the only damage from last week's storm.  WXYZ reported on one more casualty of the wind in Wind blows away art in Royal Oak.

Here's to hoping the missing piece of art is found.